Kaos Krewe - Awakened Adventures
Tinte Rois watched the four young Asura gathered at a table below. They had gathered only an hour ago in response to notes stating they would receive krewe assignments. They appeared to know each other quite well giving her an opportunity to guess at what the pecking order would be.
She scrolled through some information on her pad and almost threw it in the air as a Sylvari jumped to a spot next to her.
“Oh, look. I’m thinking that is your krewe.” Marfach pointed at the four young Asura. “You are going to have so much fun.”
Tinte eyed the slim, dark purple Sylvari, who had become a great friend over the years. “You mean you will have fun and I’ll get migraines.”
Marfach pulled a pouty face. Did the large leaves that swept forward like hair, droop with that pout? She could put a practiced Asuran charmer to shame. The thought made Tinte laugh.
“I made you laugh.” Marfach clapped her hands.
“Sort of. Per their records, I am stuck with four little charmers.”
Marfach crossed her arms and tilted her head to one side. “It will prove interesting to see how they work together including charming you into things. They do know one another prior to today?”
“Yes, some longer than others.”
“And how long are you going to make them wait? You remind me of a snow leopard analyzing its prey.”
“You would use that analogy. How is that snow leopard cub you found in the Bitterfrost doing living in the jungle with a twig?”
“Hmph.” Marfach drummed the fingers of one hand against her arm. “I have friends who are going to meet the cub soon. At least it is only one. You have four.” She waved her hand at the young Asura as she laughed. “Let me know if you want some Charr adjusting. I have a good friend I’ve made through my crafting contacts that might enjoy helping.”
“That might be a good idea. I want the krewe I lead to have no issues with the other races and even learn from them.”
“Even a twig?”
Tinte mock scowled as she slapped Marfach playfully on the arm.
Inneall fidgeted with the flat device not much bigger than the palm of her hand. She tugged at some wires until they untangled.
“Do you have to play with that here? What if it goes off?” Dallraigh crossed her arms.
“You are no fun.”
Adhuil grabbed a canister off the table and shook it. “It’s full of confetti!”
“Keep your voice down or you’ll ruin the surprise.” Inneall’s dark fingers rearranged a blue wire with a yellow one. “It’s almost ready.”
“Let me know when it is ready.” Cliste grinned. “I should be able to put it in a good spot even with the watcher on the next level.”
Adhuil started looking around.
“I’m surprised you didn’t just go with a warrior’s training. And I find it funny every time you do look around.” Cliste gave Adhuil a jab, but carefully so she didn’t hurt her finger against metal armor.
“I see things better than all of you combined. I saw the twig talking to her. Did you?”
“Yeah, all purple, but did you notice one of her weapons?” Cliste made the small canister of confetti spin like a top on the table. “I wouldn’t argue with a tree that uses a flaming weapon.”
“Flame broiled eggplant.”
Cliste laughed and lost control of the spinning canister.
Inneall snatched the canister before it fell off the table. “It’s a wonder we manage anything as a team.”
Dallraigh smiled. “But it worked.”
“Don’t make me feel happy before I get done with my toy.” Inneall winked. “A genius must concentrate.”
Several minutes later Inneall had her creation together in her lap. She nodded to Cliste who took the device as it was passed to her under the table. She continued to act like something interesting remained in her lap as Cliste snuck off and disappeared entirely.
A loud squeal made everyone look as the small Asura with pigtails ran into a purple Sylvari. A small disk like device with a canister attached flew at the Sylvari, who caught it. It exploded with a puff and sparkling confetti spread everywhere as the little Asura dove around a table. The Sylvari started laughing.
Cliste froze as the Sylvari crooked a finger to beckon her closer. She moved forward as the Sylvari cocked her head with a grin. “I’m sor-“ She clamped her mouth shut as the Sylvari put a finger to her lips and shook her head. Cliste gulped as the Sylvari bent over to whisper in her ear.
“You and your friends will do greater things with a little discipline and thinking.”
Cliste clenched her fists as the twig gave one of her pigtails a playful yank.
“Not that a little harmless fun should get in the way.” The twig skipped off humming.
Cliste sighed as she returned to the table. At least most of the bystanders had stopped laughing and staring by the time she sat down.
“How did she get down here so fast without any of us noticing?” Dallraigh looked about realizing the sparkling twig had already disappeared from sight. “Can’t trust a plant.”
“You are just mad she seems to portal better than you do.” Adhuil grinned. “She’s not even a Mesmer. Besides she did not use any magic.”
“Hmm, what kind of training would make one able to dance out of sight in sparkles?”
“The kind that lets her evade enemies in most places she goes. Though she has a penchant to jump in the middle of them and scare them to death.”
All four young Asura spun to look at the speaker who smiled at them.
“Even an elementalist can learn to be sneaky and scare her krewe on the first meeting. I’m Tinte Rois and I’ve been assigned as your krewe leader.” She smiled broader at the gaping faces as she took a seat. “I know you contrived several things over the past year so you wound up together despite being labeled insufferable and irresponsible prodigy. You just worked out a sparkle bomb for a lark though Marfach found it very entertaining to intervene. I think she is still laughing about it and I barely escaped a hug to put sparkles on me.”
Silence reigned as Tinte looked at her new krewe. She set her tablet on the table and clasped her hands.
“We didn’t …”
Tinte shook her head making the pigtailed one clamp her mouth shut again. “Don’t apologize for an attempted prank that did cause a good deal of humor. I know it did not go as planned, but that occurred due to you not assessing your environment as well as you should have.”
“I’d agree with that.” Adhuil nodded. “Never underestimate a twig.”
Tinte could not stop a laugh. “Marfach should never be underestimated. You will see a lot more of her.”
“Umm.” Cliste tugged at one of her pigtails. “Look out!” She jumped up pointing past Tinte.
Tinte spun in time to see Marfach pop out of a sulfuric cloud and grab her in a hug smothering sparkles all over her. She frowned as she pushed the twig away and tried to brush some of the glittery stuff off.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist sharing the spoils of fun.” Marfach clapped as she laughed. “I think you will enjoy your new, clever krewe. I know I will.”
“Wonderful. I can finally see the light of why it was me chosen to lead it.” Tinte crossed her arms attempting to look put out. “It’s all your fault.”
“Awww.” Marfach put her hands over her heart. “You compliment me and forget it took both of us to get here.”
Tinte eyed her new krewe as some of them started chuckling.
“I think they get it.” Marfach clapped again before diving in to hug Dallraigh. “You could have made an interesting distraction to help pigtails get it planted.”
Dallraigh threw a wink at Inneall. “Next time use something that won’t come back and stick on us.”
“Noted.” Inneall managed to remain serious looking, but her eyes shone with delight.
Adhuil raised a hand.
“You may speak freely, Adhuil.” Tinte smiled at the tiny revenant.
“So there has to be some rules. I’m assuming twig, I mean Marfach, did that to save us from getting into real trouble.” She glanced at the purple Sylvari that had acquired a chair and sat at the other end of the table from Tinte.
“Of course. I want you to unleash your full potential as long as it doesn’t harm others. Now this wouldn’t have harmed anyone, but there are a couple prominent Asura who might not have appreciated the placing of your prank. Like Marfach told you, you must learn to assess your environment before fully acting. Sometimes you may have to change the plan on the fly due to last minute information.”
All four prodigies nodded their heads.
“Another rule is that I do want you to enjoy what you are doing and who you are doing it with. Life is too short to not like what you are doing. Any of you dislike the current path you are on?”
All four shook their heads.
“I’ll make sure you have proper training to hone your current skills and to enhance them as you grow. In the mix of that I want to help you combine those skills into a synergy only a well oiled krewe can have. I’m assuming that is what you wanted together all along based on your prior exploits?”
The four paused a moment before nodding.
“Nothing can be expunged from your records, but you can choose how your future will go. Am I understood?”
“Crystal,” stated Cliste as the others nodded again.
“Good.” Tinte stood up. “Let’s get you properly settled in your new quarters.”
* * *
Inneall adjusted her goggles. The power source for a beacon proved difficult. Someone had tried to use an incorrect part. She tossed a burnt out chunk of wires and who knew what over her shoulder. She smirked at the shriek it caused.
“You almost hit me with that.” Dallraigh kicked Inneall in the backside.
Inneall barely stopped herself from face planting into the machine. The smell made her sneeze.
“Where did Cliste go?”
Inneall ignored the mesmer’s question hoping it would make her leave her alone.
Inneall banged her head disengaging from the machinery fast. Dallraigh only sounded that quiet and scared when bad or super confusing things happened. She gaped at the funky purplish portal. Did that thing qualify as undead?
“Kill them all.”
The thing could talk. Undead with brains in Metrica and they weren’t raised Aura? Not for long!
Dallraigh had several illusions of herself out as Inneall dropped her rifle turret. Let’s see if that is enough.
“I never heard of these things coming all the way here from the desert.” Adhuil appeared laughing as her hammer strike sent some of the dead things flying.
“Desert? I know they aren’t risen.” Cliste’s pistols fired off a volley.
“They are awakened if I remember what I read.”
Inneal shook her head as she blew one away with a well placed rifle shot. How those two could banter in the middle of a fight amazed her. Dallraigh’s scream made her turn. More were coming out of the portal. How did one blow up a magical portal?
She pulled out her elite arsenal of turrets in the middle of the mayhem, just before launching herself to land with a bang in the mix of those fixated on Dallraigh, despite her adept use of illusions. She found herself flying in the air due to a hit and barely kept a grip on her rifle.
Adhuil’s yell of rage was followed up with her charging the tightest cluster with swirling hammers around her. She targeted one of the casters in the group.
“They can cast spells too!” Inneall yelled the warning as she aimed for one on the ground. “Take that.” The caster flew backwards and did not get up.
Cliste switched to her daggers to get in closer only to be bowled over by a new arrival that had a way of hovering and skimming over the ground.
Inneall frowned. How dare he have such a cool thing when she did not? She needed to figure out how to make one if they got out of this mess alive. Speaking of which, Dallraigh was taking a beating. She threw down a supply of med kits but the mesmer was not able to get to one. She dove in to work on reviving her hoping her turrets and the other two could keep them distracted long enough. Screams and hollers made her wonder if the thief and revenant were having fun or dying.
She screamed as a sulfurous cloud nearly appeared on top of her, but then realized despite the stink, it did not hurt her. The enemy screamed and fled with the magics pulsating from the cloud.
Dallraigh rolled to her feet selecting a foe and sending harsh magic at it from her great sword. “I have bigger friends than you!”
Inneall grinned as she heard Marfach laughing. Then a hail of fire came down. Their krewe chief had more power as an elementalist than several others she knew. She forgot to help fight as she watched the flaming torch in Marfach’s left hand light up the entire lower arm in fire. She had the legendary Rodgort and to top it off lightning spewed from the scepter that could only be Meteorlogicus. How did a twig wind up with two legendary weapons?
She coughed as the sulfur and smoke cleared. The only sign of the enemy had turned into charred remains.
“What is Joko thinking?” Tinte scowled.
“We need to confirm if there are other sightings.”
Inneall slowly rose to her feet from where she had remained kneeling after Dallraigh had recovered. “I have a communicator. Let me call it in.” She shook herself. My ears, what a mess.
“Do that. Make sure you confirm they understand it was Awakened via portals.”
“So it was those things I read about recently from the Crystal Desert.” Adhuil slung her two handed hammer onto her shoulder. “Cliste and I were scouting around not far away. There was no warning at all. The portal showed up and out they came.”
“We need to figure out a way to detect them.” Dallraigh scowled. “I will not be taken off guard like that again.”
Inneall listened as she pulled out the communicator and called Rata Sum. She gave full details making the person noting it have to stutter to a stop trying to interrupt with questions.
“Did you get all that the first time? I hate repeating myself.”
The somewhat crackling voice said. “I got it, but…. Hold on a second.”
Marfach suddenly leaned over her. “I bet a gold he comes back stating other reports have come in.”
Inneall jumped and then chuckled despite the situation. “I don’t have enough gold for that bet and I’m scared you are right.”
“We have confirmation of other sightings with occurrences the same as yours. It appears they hit us at five or six locations across Metrica Province simultaneously though timing is a bit staggered. Then it ended. It should be clear for now, but report if it happens again.”
“Copy that.” Inneall broke the connection. “If it happens again, I want a way to try for samples of the portal magic. I want to make some sensors.”
“A wonderful idea.” The Sylvari clapped. “I wonder if a trip to the Crystal Desert for some research might be in order. Maybe catch them on that side or get ideas how they can portal so far.”
“I might be able to compare it to mesmer portal magic if we get anything as a clue.” Dallraigh had sheathed her sword on her back. “I’m envious of how they did it.”
“I envy that one who had the floating disc thingy he was riding around on.”
“Here’s the charred remains of it.” Adhuil grinned as she set it before Inneall. “I figured you would want to figure this thing out, though I think a good deal of it was magic.”
Inneall eyed the crispy item. “Not much worse than that thing.” She waved at the beacon. “I wonder if we can make those sense the portals.”
“There’s an idea.” Tinte smiled. “This krewe has a real mission now. Let’s clean up what we can for testing and let’s also get this beacon working again.” She pointed at the item Inneall held. “Though that comes from a Forged and last I knew they did not get along with the Awakened. We might have an anomaly to figure out.”
Inneall nodded, but her brows knotted as she gave the item one last look over before returning to figuring out the beacon’s real issues.
“We need more practice working together fighting, though we did get some of it sorted out.” Cliste tugged a pigtail. “The whole assessing of the area comes to mind.” She smirked as she blushed.
They shared some chuckles before digging into the work at hand. Who knew where the mission would lead, maybe even a trip to the desert. Inneall did not look forward to cleaning sand out of her turrets, let alone her armor.
About the Author
Althea joined Gaiscioch back in October of 2009 and has been here ever since with only a few month hiatus between Warhammer and Rift. As soon as she knew they were in Rift, she jumped ship to Faeblight and has followed them onward through every chapter since with a few side games thrown in for spice.
She has been an avid player of RPG style games since 1980 when she first played Dungeons and Dragons. Since then she has created her own tabletop gaming world used with various rule sets as D&D progressed. Once she could get online she played MUDs. Her MMO days started with Everquest and have moved through over a dozen games with some lasting only a month's time in her life and others going for years. She has tested several games from the perspective of a disabled gamer with hand issues due to her multiple sclerosis.
When not writing about or playing games, she can be found writing novels, reading and doing various art projects. She also writes items based on her faith and is working on publishing a novel. She also does editing for a gaming developer.
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